|Raul S. Roco, 63, Filipino Leader and Voice for Education
BY ANDY GREENBERG
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RAUL S. ROCO GL’76, Raul S. Roco GL’76, former Philippine senator and education secretary, two-time presidential candidate, progressive party leader, attorney and filmmaker, died last August at the age of 64. As the founder and head of the leftist Aksyon Demokratiko party, Roco was a lifelong champion of good governance and reform in a period of Philippine history marred by corruption. According to Roco himself, speaking to the Philippines Inquirer just a month before his death, he wanted only “to be remembered as someone who planted the seeds of change.” Roco’s drive to make a difference left little time to waste. He finished high school at the age of 14, and graduated magna cum laude from San Beda College in Manila at 18. After receiving a Bachelor’s in Law from San Beda, he enrolled simultaneously at Penn and Wharton. At the age of 23, he was named one of the ten most outstanding students of the Philippines.
After passing the Bar, he lobbied for a constitutional convention, and soon became one of its youngest delegates, representing his home district of Camarines Sur. He later worked on the legal staff of Senator Benigno Aquino, drafting the Study Now, Pay Later law.